Trump University, the for-profit education company founded by Donald Trump, and his associates Michael Sexton & Jonathan Spitalny, is the focus of three separate lawsuits. The company, like many for-profit education companies, was not an accredited university or college. Trump University shuttered in 2011 after multiple lawsuits.
Trump University is now back in the news in part because Donald Trump is now the presumptive Republican Party Presidential Candidate, and in part because the three different lawsuits will begin hearings soon.
Today Donald Trump spoke briefly at a Veterans’ fundraiser event regarding one of the civil cases. Read more about that below.
Trump University Lawsuits
1st Class-Action Lawsuit
In 2010, four former students filed a class-action civil suit against Trump University, accusing it of “offering classes that amounted to extended ‘infomercials,’ ‘selling nonaccredited products,’ and ‘taking advantage of these troubled economic times to prey on consumers’ fears’. [source]”
NY State Civil Suit
In 2013, the State of New York filed a $40 million civil suit against Trump University, alleging illegal business practices and false claims. Eric Schneiderman, NY State Attorney General, called Trump University “an elaborate bait-and-switch.”
2nd Class-Action Civil Suit
In Feburary 2014, a separate class-action civil suit was filed by residents in California, Florida, and New York.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel in charge of the NY State civil suit said that Trump University materials (now dubbed the “playbook”) dealing with procedures on dealing with students and the media, should be unsealed. These documents explain how Trump University worked, how to run the events, and how to sell the program to potential customers.
Curiel has ordered a release 1000+ pages, rejecting the idea from Trump’s attorneys that the information had commercial value.
Donald Trump’s Response To Lawsuits
Donald Trump, from the very beginning of the NY State civil suit, has been very verbal about his dislike of US Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel.
“It is a disgrace. It is a rigged system,” Trump said about the class-action lawsuit currently unfolding against Trump University in federal court. “I have a judge who is a hater of Donald trump. He’s a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel. And he is not doing the right thing. [source]”
He continued to say
“The trial is going to take place sometime in November. There should be no trial. This should have been dismissed on summary judgment easily, everybody says it. But I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He’s a hater… The judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great. I think that’s fine. [source]”